Intense Pulse Light
Intense Pulse Light(IPL) was first introduced in late 1990’s and is considered to be one of the most important additions to aesthetic medicine and dermatology in the last few decades. Unlike lasers, IPL is a broad band light that can be isolated to narrower bands or wave lengths though special filters. The proper selection of wave length, pulse configuration and energy results in optimum absorption of the light by selected targets (chromophobes) in the skin. These targets include melanin(pigment in skin and hair follicles), hemoglobin and water. This explains the versatility of IPL and its use for various skin problems and imperfections including rosacea, hyper-pigmentation and permanent hair reduction. IPL also activates the collagen producing cells in the skin called fibroblasts leading to healthier, younger looking skin.
Incorrect use of IPL can lead to skin burns, scarring, hyperpigmenation of skin of loss of pigment.
At Al Nour Clinic ,we are proud to be one of the first pioneers of IPL in WA. Our Quantum IPL is the first in WA introduced in 2000. We have since performed thousands of successful treatments for rosacea, sun damage, hyper pigmentation and permanent hair reduction.
For Sun-Damaged skin
This unique technology is becoming increasingly popular all around the world.
Sun damage is a very common problem in Australia frequently seen in younger individuals. It manifests as brown /darker pigment and uneven skin color, surface capillaries (telengiactasia), loss of skin elasticity and wrinkles, keratosis and skin cancers.
Due to the ability of IPL to target different chromophobes in the skin , if used correctly, it can improve on all elements of sun damage . IPL stimulates increased collagen production, seals unsightly broken capillaries and destroys the excess pigment in sun spots all at the same time. The end result will be a more youthful skin that is very even in color and texture.
Treatments take about 1/2 hour, there’s minimal discomfort and possible side effects in experienced hands are rare.
Face, neck, upper chest, hands and forearms can all be treated.
A course of 3-4 treatments is usually required. Results are excellent and very long lasting.
For Rosacea Treatment
My face is red, do I have rosacea??
Rosacea is a very common problem that affects millions of people around the world. It is estimated that 13 million people in the United States, 6 million in Canada and 10 million in England suffer from rosacea.
It is a progressive vascular disorder of the facial skin, occurring less often on the neck and upper chest and occasionally in the eyes. It affects age groups from 20 to 70 years. In its early stages, it starts as a recurrent but transient intense flushing usually triggered by heat, exercise, alcohol, excitement, spicy food and other factors. As the problem worsens, the flushing tends to last longer and may occur without a trigger.
The redness then becomes persistent and looks like a sun or wind-burn. Skin tends to very dry and sensitive and pimple-like lesions may appear. In moderate to severe rosacea facial inflammation intensifies, swelling and a burning sensation occurs.
The problem with rosacea is far beyond simply having a red face. It does seem to impose severe restrictions on the social lives of sufferers.
What causes rosacea?
Up until recently, very little was known about the nature of the problem, its causes and consequently its treatment. In fact, it was and still is, mistakenly diagnosed as acne or dermatitis.
We now know that the problem concerns the blood vessels in the affected area. These vessels tend to be hypersensitive so that when exposed to a stimulus they dilate more than they should, resulting in intense flushing. With recurrent occurrences of this process, these vessels become structurally abnormal; they remain dilated and may leak, resulting in the persistent redness, swelling and occasionally pimples.
In the majority of rosacea sufferers, this condition is genetic.
For the minority, it may result from underlying medical problems such as hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid) and SLE, and autoimmune disorder, chronic allergies and other rare medical disorders.
Is there a treatment?
Avoid triggers and live with it! This is quite often what rosacea sufferers are told when consulting their doctors.
Over the years, several oral and topical medications have been tried with variable success. These include oral antibiotics (Tetracycline, Doxycycline, Minocycline, Clarithromycin, Azithromycin), oral Isotretinoin, some anti-hypertensive medications, oral anti-inflammatory medications, oral antihistamines, topical antibiotics (Metronidazole, Macrolides). Some of these medications have been only partially effective at addressing one or more of rosacea symptoms, rarely to the satisfaction of patients or doctors.
Surgical procedures, in which the sympathetic nerves to the facial skin mediating flushing are surgically severed, can be undertaken. It is a very effective treatment of flushing, but a very serious operation that should be considered as a last resort in debilitating flushing.
Various over the counter skin products have been tried and most can only provide very short lasting relief of symptoms.
Triggers for rosacea
The following factors may trigger flushing in rosacea sufferers and repetitive exposure can speed its progression:
• External heat and consumption of hot food or drinks
• Any form or physical exercise
• Embarrassment, anger, emotional and mental stress
• Spicy foods
• Environmental insults including sun and wind
• Skincare products
IPL and Rosacea
The principle behind the treatment is that light is absorbed by blood inside abnormal blood vessels. Light is then converted to heat that will seal and destroy these abnormal vessels.
IPL was first approved for treatment of rosacea in the United States in 1995 and since then has been very widely used with remarkable success. Unlike the treatments previously tried for rosacea, IPL does successfully control ALL symptoms of rosacea including flushing, persistent redness, broken capillaries, skin sensitivity and pimples. Because of the rejuvenating nature of the light, patients also gain the bonus of a significant improvement on skin texture and aging signs. An average of 5 treatments is usually required, each taking 20-30 minutes. The procedure can be squeezed into a daily routine as no downtime is required. Although IPL does not cure the genetically based hypersensitivity problem in the blood vessels, the control achieved with IPL treatment lasts 3-5 years or longer.
IPL vs LASER
IPL is able to treat blood vessels at different depths in the skin, which is very important to achieve control over flushing.
IPL machines allow the operating doctor tremendous flexibility to vary the wavelength and treatment parameters used to suit the skin being treated. This cannot be achieved with laser equipment.
IPL treatments are associated with far fewer side effects and less pain.
For Skin Hyperpigmentation Treatment
Skin hyperpigmentation (darker skin spots) may result from cumulative sun damage, hormonal factors or rarely, underlying medical problems or medications. It can be a difficult skin problem to treat.
Options for treatment include, bleaching and skin lightening creams, peels, microdermabrasion, laser light and most recently, Intense Pulse Light treatment (IPL).
IPL works by selectively destroying the excess pigment in the darker spots. The skin will subsequently push the destroyed pigment to the surface and clears it with the dead surface layer. IPL is proving to be an excellent treatment for most types of skin pigmentation.
A course of 3-4 treatments is usually required.
For Permanent Hair Reduction
For some people, not having to worry about frequent waxing or shaving would be a luxury. For others, it may be a medical necessity when hair grows excessively or in inappropriate areas (i.e. the face in women).
Light is absorbed by the pigment inside the hair shaft, gets converted to heat energy which then destroy the hair and its follicle. Unlike lasers used for similar treatment, IPL can be used on all skin types, has fewer side effects, offers shorter treatment time and is less expensive.
An average of 4-5 treatments is required, depending on skin and hair colour.